It would be both cliche and passe to suggest that life is like a river: flowing.  But I found myself thinking just this as I sat on the bank of the Provo River as it rushed by, the water high from mountain snow-melt in summer.  Life . . . just . . . flows.  Every aspect of the river’s course deepens the metaphor, and I could not help writing this poem.  I hope you don’t mind my retelling of this ancient idea.


the river flows
in deep green channels
in trickling shallows
over glacier-born boulders,
eddies swirl lolling bubbles
cutthroat flit and spawn
willows cling to ragged banks
lodgepoles look over:
the river flows and flows
from mountain snows
to unfathomable seas:
the river flows

Roger is the author of Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road.  The book tells the true life story of an obscure farm road and its power to transform the human spirit.  The book is available in print and for Kindle at Amazon.  See Rabbit Lane reviewed in Words and Pictures.

4 thoughts on “Flow

  1. Mary Russell

    As always, a good thing to read 1st thing this morning. Im starting a brand new job today. A set 8-5, Monday-Friday job. This is new to me and will totally change Harv and my comfort zone’s perimeter! I feel better about it today as I, thankfully, got a good night’s rest. The demons & dragons that can work on a weary, defenseless body & mind lose their ferocity with a clear mind that comes from a good night’s sleep. How relative our worries and fears are! They can feel overwhelming or mere trifles depending on our mental state.
    The flowing river just flows wherever it is pulled towards, does it not? It doesn’t stop to ponder which direction to take or what to carry along.
    I envy nature and the wildlife that have no Free will, they just go on instinct with no worrisome decisions to make that can end up lifting or damning them.
    Oh, to be like a river and just “go with the flow”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. brianbakerwrites

      My writing often tends toward the cliche, which can be frustrating, but it’s made me wonder why it happens. Maybe it’s because I haven’t thought deeply enough about my subject yet. Or maybe it’s because cliches are the truest parts of life, so true that we talk about them over and over. I think the key is getting us to look at common ideas in a new way. I think you accomplish this because your poem does not feel cliche at all. It’s full of fresh imagery.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Roger Baker-Utah Post author

        Thank you, Brian. In my opinion, we drift toward cliche because it is familiar, and in communication we try to speak in a way that can be understood, with diction and imagery to which our listener can relate. In poetry, however, the challenge is to find new ways to express, still that can be understood by our audience, perhaps even better for the newness.


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